Spring has sprung – albeit slowly – and there are a number of top events making use of the increased hours of light and dappling of spring flowers. In Frankfurt the eighth biennale of lighting culture, Luminale 2016, features wonderful installations across the city. Head north to DesignMarch in Reykjavik (10-13 March), Iceland’s biggest design festival – four days of talks, walks, open studios, workshops and more. TEFAF in Maastricht (11-20 March) is one of the world’s best arts, antiques and design fair featuring 275 of the world’s top dealers. And don’t miss

PAD Paris Art + Design (29 March-3 April)

Architecture and building 

Kiev’s 15th festival of Architecture and Design (2-4 March) features work from Ukrainian and international architects plus conferences and round-tables. It’s held alongside KyivBuild 2015, Landscape&Garden Kiev and Kiev Interiors.

TURN ON and TURN ON Partner in Vienna (4-5 March) is an architecture festival ctreated by Margit Ulama to address controversial issues of contemporary building.

The big consumer-facing fair Com:Bau 2016 in Dornbirn, Austria (4-6 March) is a large construction and renovation fair with nine halls, dealing with every aspect of build from planning to completion.

The massive EcoBuild in London (8-10 March) is the world’s largest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment. It also offers an exceptionally good roster of speakers for its seminars, panel talks and future gazing events.

Energie Habitat – Colmar, France features some 300 exhibitors focusing on sustainable housing, heating, and renovation (18-21 March).

Two wood based events – the large Salon du Bois in Grenoble (31 March-3 April) and the smaller Bois & Habitat in Namur, France (18-21 March) look at the use of natural material in construction, wood working and energy. Salon du Bois also features wood craftsmen and sculptors.

House I 2015 in Riga, Latvia (10-13 March) is the Baltics’ biggest building industry fair and features everything from design and planning to plumbing and thermal engineering via state-of-the-art technology.

Istanbul Door, Glass and window Expos (9-12 March) are all held in the same venue cover, as you might expect from their names, door and partition systems, glass and window and aperture solutions respectively.

Fensterbrau Frontale in Nurnberg (16-19 March) is is the world’s leading exhibition for windows, doors and facades. There’s a big focus on sustainability and comfort as an innovation driver for construction.

Last but not least Building Holland in Amsterdam (22-24 March) is a big international exhibition and conference bringing construction and real estate together. 10,000 visitors and 150 exhibitors come together to share knowledge, to network, do business and see and experience innovative products and concepts. Speakers include Rem Koolhas and Ben van Berkel.

Arts and antiques

Get your wallets ready for some top antique and fine art fairs this month. Known for its eclecticism and contemporary character, Eurantica, the Brussels Fine Art Fair (5-13 March) has grown to be the largest fine art and antiques fair in Belgium. It also has a striking archaeology section.

TEFAF in Maastricht (11-20 March) is one of the world’ arts, antiques and design fair featuring 275 of the world’s best dealers, 175 verification experts and work from the 13th century to modern, with many pieces of museum quality. Look out for photography, a sculpture section after Joseph Beuys called Show Your Wound, and paper works on loan from the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum.

Another important event, the BADA Antiques and Fine Art Fair in London (9-15 March) features high-end art and antiques, from 16th Century to contemporary from the UK’s top dealers. Look out for the loand exhibition from The Gordon Russell Design Museum which highlights the designer’s contribution to 20th century design

PAD Paris Art + Design (29 March-3 April) is yet another major selling event, promoting ‘the dialogue between modern art, historical and contemporary design and jewellery.’ Look out for top end work plus an expanded primitive art section. The quality of antique and contemporary furniture and objects on show is normally breathtaking.

Salon du Dessin, now in its 25th year, is a major drawings fair held annually in Paris (30 March-4 April) The fair gathers collectors and curators from across the globe. This year 39 prestigious galleries specialising in Old Masters, Modern and Contemporary drawings will show more than 1,000 drawings

Salon du Vintage in Paris (12-13 March) has furniture, accessories, clothing and more with an exhibition of space age style memorabilia from the period. 50s-70s Jahre Markt in Wiesbaden, Germany (30 March) does exactly what it suggests, focusing on mid-century goods.

In contrast it’s quiet on the modern and contemporary art front. The now-global juggernaut that is the Affordable Art Fair (12-15 March) returns to its Battersea, London roots and still offers original art ranging from £500-£5,000.

Art Austria is a respected Austrian-only art fair in Vienna running 10-13 March.

Art Paris Art Fair, running concurrently with Salon du Dessin (30 March-4 April), brings together 145 galleries from some 20 countries. The fair champions “cosmopolitan regionalism”, concentrating on parts of Europe and the singular art scenes of cities like Marseille, Milan and Zurich while also looking further afield to places like Azerbaijan, Colombia, and Iran, and Korea, this year’s guest of honour.

Interiors and design

DesignMarch in Reykjavik (10-13 March) is Iceland’s biggest design festival – four days of talks, walks, open studios, workshops and more. Discover fashion to furniture, architecture to food design via graphic design, the festival showcases the best of the local design scene alongside exciting international names. It opens with DesignTalks, a day of lectures by internationally acclaimed designers and the foremost local design thinkers.

London Design Week (12-16 March trade, 16-18 March consumer) sees 500 top brands showcasing their wares and presenting new collections at London’s Chelsea Design Centre. Look out for inspiring talks ranging from Kit Kemp to Tim Boyd.

And so to interiors. The Sample Sale in London (4-6 March) is the city’s first multi-brand product sample sale, curated by the team behind the critically-acclaimed global design show, designjunction. Brands include Tom Dixon and Made.

KBB Birmingham (6-9 March) is the UK’s largest gathering of KBB brands. With over 400 leading UK & international suppliers with the latest in kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms products, the show is a hotspot for architects, interior designers, retailers, contractors, plumbers and developers.
Kuchenwohntrends in Munich (20-21 March) covers similar grounds, focusing on bringing together the separate areas of living, working, cooking and celebration. Staying on the specialist show theme, the vast ISH in Frankfurt (14-18 March) is the world’s biggest showcase for innovative bathroom design, energy-efficient heating and air-conditioning technology and renewable energies.

Interior designers should head to Munchner Stoff Fruhling in Munich (11-14 March) where exclusive textile manufacturers (Sahco to Colefax & Fowler) and publishers reveal lovingly decorated showrooms and exhibition rooms for an audience of interior decorators, interior designers, architects and designers.

Light + Building in Frankfurt (13-18 March) is a big trade fair featuring 2,500 exhibitors and welcoming more than 20,000 architects, designers, planners and engineers discover lighting, electrical and smart system solutions for public and private buildings. Over the same period on Frankfurt the eighth biennale of lighting culture, Luminale 2016, features wonderful installations across the city and Offenbach from showrooms, galleries and museums to churches, railway stations, parks and unusual tucked away places by Hartung Trenz, Christopher Bauder and many others. Look out for free bus rides around the sites.

There is a wealth of interior and furniture shows. Expocasa Turin (to 6 March) is dedicated to furnishing and solutions for the home. Habitat Jardin Lausanne (12-20 March) has home and garden solutions plus conferences and free short consults with experts. Wohnen & Interieur in Vienna (5-13 March) features approx 500 exhibitors on more than 55.000 sqm of expo space.
KIFF – Kiev International Furniture Forum (9-12 March) is Ukraine’s biggest expo of furniture, home textile, interior objects, decor and lighting. The first hall features installations from national and international brands, look out for for the very popular Best Seller Italia section.

Salone del Mobile di Firenze in Florence (10-18 March) has furniture solutions from manufacturers, retailers, artisans and big brands, as does Casaidea in Rome (12-22 March).

Blickfang in Stuttgart (11-13 March) offers showcases of independently produced furniture, fashion and jewellery from young international designers. Blickfang also pops up in Basel, Zurich, Vienna, Munich, Copenhagen and Hamburg.
Giardina 16 in Zurich (16-20 March) is another big garden/lifestyle-focused fair featuring the leading suppliers in the sector present new products, creative solutions and upcoming trends in garden design on an area of some 30,000 m2. From 17-20 March a series of home related events run concurrently in Prague including For Furniture, For Habitat and Design Shaker, a selling exhibition of Czech and foreign interior design, furniture and accessories.

The Ideal Home Show, London (18 March-3 April) is a major consumer fair featuring seven dedicated show areas from Interiors to Home Improvements via housewares and gadgets. The Country Living Spring Fair in London (16-20 March) is a large biannual consumer fair specialising in fabrics, furnishings, craft, design, fashion and regional produce from Britain. 


Alexander Girard (1907– 1993) was one of the most important modern textile artists and interior designers of the twentieth century. He worked closely with designers like Charles Eames and George Nelson and combined Pop and Folk Art to create a colourfully opulent aesthetic language whose impact continues to be felt today. Vitra Design Museum’s exhibition in Germany will be the first comprehensive retrospective of Girard’s oeuvre in Europe (from 12 March).

Time for a new gallery. Designed by Hugh Broughton Architects, from 20 March the Harley Gallery in Welbeck, Nottinghamshire, UK will house changing displays of the Portland Collection of fine and decorative art. The new 800msq building includes a glazed entrance pavilion and two galleries. The Picture Gallery has a barrel-vaulted ceiling divided in two to allow light to fill the space from above while the Treasury Gallery provides a flexible display space to show light-sensitive objects.